Its been a little more than a couple of months that I have started writing my Mphil dissertation and there are a few things I would like to share about this experience. Since I am going to go through this beautiful distress of an Mphil only once in my lifetime, might as well keep some record of how this feels.
Mostly, It feels like shit. This life of discipline, where one needs to be working on the dissertation relentlessly, is not one I prefer. At the moment, I wake up every weekday at 6.30am to go for Yoga. Once I return and finish my daily chores, I head to the library to spend the entire day there till about 11pm. While some days are great, others suck. Sometimes I manage to write about 2000 words of this damned thing that no one will read. On other days, I write about 200 and read too much to make anything of it. Then there is the superfast wi-fi in the JNU library which entices people like yours truly to watch endless videos of stand up comics that make me existentially question my purpose on earth and music videos which I silent dance to in my seat in the library. Ofcourse, however the daygoes, its my own doing. Still, the routine of writing everyday about one topic, rather ranting for some 50000 words about something hat doesn’t really matter, makes me wonder what the point of this whole exercise is. Well, but like all things, it has been begun and so it must be wrapped up well, packed and put away.
This makes one feel like tossed cabbage. – Chopped up , high strung, damp, emotional. Actually I have no idea why I said it feels like cabbage-just felt like the right image.
I have exactly 1 month to finish everything. July 15th. 30 days to go.
PS. While I am at this, I also am continuing with Gati work. unbelievable really, the stuff I get myself into.
Oh and did I mention this is the summer of my mphil dissertation, which I am writing from Delhi, where its 45 degrees Celsius on a good day and 36 degrees at night.
Spring nights, the nip of winter is still in the air and a song keeps me company under the nearly full moon
This is an attempt at a poem about the day after something significant or insignificant.
Its as yet incomplete and am not even sure if is at all meant to be one single poem.
The day after
The day after the night
when the first raindrops fell
everyone saw that the drops had
placed themselves gingerly on tips of green leaves,
and on the edges of crisp blades of grass.
One had arranged itself on the spot on the car windshield
so that when they looked from the front
it made look like a brilliant luminous diamond
had etched itself on the crease of her smile.
The day after their examinations ended
the excited kids woke up far too early
although they had decided that they would sleep till noon.
They made plans about all the candies they would eat
all the games they would play and all the films they would watch.
But by eve they had split into factions of Iago and Othello
and thus began the trysts of adolesence that weren’t resolved
until they had children of their own.
The day after the road was fixed
everyone still walked as if the road was not fixed.
They drove around the ghosts of potholes
and stepped aside from non-existent pits.
The day after she first spent the night at his
she woke up forgetting this very fact
because she had dreamt very realistically
that the war had ended and that her dad
The day after she first spent the night at his
he stopped kissing her and it broke her heart
while his was seized by fear
because the day after
she first spent the night at his
he realized that he liked men.
The day after their friend died
they woke up raw with dry eyes
grieving at their inability to weep
for ther tears did no justice to their sadness.
The day after the war ended
the soldiers packed up their rifles
and retraced their tanks
but had forgotten to make the
Ivorian child forget how to use a gun.
there is nothing
as blissful as
realising exactly what you want to do
in that moment
and doing exactly just that.
Otherwise it feels like a spooned piece of mango
between the tongue
and the throat.
It refuses to go down and even if it does
doesn’t leave a sweet taste behind.
Sometimes I feel like the loneliest lonely person in the world.
On a day like that, such as today too is,
I just wish someone from my old past,
the older young me who was full of hope,
would call me and ask me simply
how I am?
and tell me that they
care about me and miss me.
And yet on a day like this
I begin to loathe all forms of affection
wish to reject friendships, run away
from this place, from clusters of people
who all merge into one
and loose meaning.
All the space in the world
whirling around alone
in deep dark space
When I was young, I proclaimed that my biggest fear is fear itself.
fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, fear of the unknown, fear of acknowledging my unhappiness, fear of turning more unhappy, fear of failure. fear of not trying out of the fear of failure – these were things I loathed and was sure I wasn’t the kind of person to fall into that trap.
But not very long after living a sort of grown-up life, I can already feel fear of the unknown grow upon me. It feels like creepers crawling up my legs, coiling around my heart, pretending to embrace me but really choking me. On some days I thank nightfall to have arrived so that it is finally time for me to sleep, or atleast try. Some mornings bring dread with them and despair at what the day would bring.
I am sure it is just this phase and it is going to be all good very soon.
Basically I have to present my synopsis on May 1st. There is some annoying politics and favouritism going on in my Department and I don’t have the energy or time to deal with it. But as life would have it I have been flung right in the middle of it all and I do hope we all get away unscathed.
Also at work this is the exact time when I am most most busy because of a big ass big money event coming up on May 18th that I am incharge of. Also the two people who are sort of above me at work will not be here in the intermediary 2 weeks before the event so its going to be some very sweaty business. I hate that any of this has anything to do with money.
On some days I can realize that I have been very privileged with such a good comfortable birth, nice family, lovely friends, good education and the possibility to dream as I do. Its even a privilege to be able to think about what I really want to do as many in this country don’t have such a luxury or option.
But but..c’est difficile! Growing up is certainly not easy. My dreams are blurred, I believe in much lesser- in myself as well as in the world, I am lost in what I want to do or why at all. If the purpose of life is to leave a legacy, change it for the better, or just live comfortably and die smoking a joint whether or not the next person has food to eat – I do not know.
I wonder what I wanr. I am afraid to know what I want.
Its 8.45pm and I am still at work. No one is keeping me here but the desire to be alone in a quiet place makes me want to remain here for a while longer.
It is strange how, in this place that is nothing like home used to be, I just now could smell my mothers Adai.
It was definitely one of her best dishes, crispy crunchy golden adais with an occassional curry leaf and amazing with a lump of white butter.
I long for that flavour. I breathe in deeply, but none of that smell remains.